August 18, 2010

Now that I’ve lost you

It’s time for another round of everybody’s favorite game: “Stump the Geek.” This is where I answer your brain-busting trivia questions. It is so much fun, because I am super smart and have never been stumped. Let’s get started with your first question.

“Dear Geek, I saw this really great movie a while back, but I missed the opening credits, and I have no idea what it was. I’d like to see it again, but I can’t find anybody who has ever heard of it.

“The first thing I remember was that it was in black and white, but that didn‘t bother me too much. It took place in a restaurant, mostly, and there were a lot of people from different countries there. I’m pretty sure it took place during World War II; there were German soldiers in uniform, and they were really mean.

“It seems like a lot of the people were trying to leave and go someplace else. And there was this French guy acting like he would help this one really cute girl, but he was really just trying to have sex with her. Well, anyway, the owner of the restaurant was a cool customer. I can remember the French guy saying that Rick ‘never sticks his neck out for anybody,’ but then he helps the cute girl’s boyfriend win money at roulette so she doesn’t have to sleep with the French guy.

“Then there’s this creepy guy who comes in and asks Rick to hide some papers. He says he’s gonna sell them for big bucks, but he needs to hide them until the buyer shows up. Then the police come and shoot the creepy guy.

“The plot really starts to get complicated at this point. It turns out that the guy who was going to buy the papers is married to one of Rick’s ex-girlfriends, and they come in looking for the creepy guy, but he’s dead.

“Rick gets upset when he sees his ex-girlfriend. Long story short: They figure out that Rick has the papers, and they go about trying to convince him to sell them or whatever, but Rick won’t do it because he has a chip on his shoulder about Ilsa, his ex. Seeing his opportunity, Rick works it out that he gets alone with Ilsa after hours, and they get it on.

“It turns out that Ilsa was married prior to her affair with Rick, and her failure to appear at the train station to meet Rick as they had planned (in order to leave France together as the Nazis marched into Paris) was due to her receiving word that her husband, Victor Laszlo, a famous freedom fighter, had survived his most recent arrest and had escaped his captors. When Ilsa and Rick meet again, in the present day sequence, it seems Ilsa had actually been in love with Rick all those years ago, and her decision to go back to Laszlo was a heartbreaking acknowledgement of her marriage vow.

“Or was it? I was wondering if maybe she was lying to Rick that night when they ‘got back’ what they had lost in Paris? You know, like, maybe this second incident of marital infidelity was a ruse designed to get Rick to ‘do the right thing,’ i.e. turn over the letters of transit so that she and Victor could leave Casablanca together. Did Ilsa merely ‘take one for the team’? It seems like a bit of a long shot, because she pretty much told Rick that she would do whatever he wanted her to do, like escape with him and leave Victor behind to be arrested by the Nazis. Pretty damn cold if you ask me.

“But then Rick shoots a guy and puts Ilsa and Victor on the plane together and goes on vacation with the French guy.

“Well, that’s about all I can remember. I hope you can help me. I am losing my mind!”

BBB, Louisville

Wow, BBB, that’s a good one. I hate to admit it, but you got me. I have no idea what movie you are talking about. You have stumped the geek! I guess there’s a first time for everything! Maybe one of our readers will recognize it and let us know. I would be happy to report the name of this obscure film in a future column.

Next time: Who killed Marion Crane?